We Haven't Talked for a While

25.5 months since I was declared cancer free, but who’s counting?  30.5 months since treatments ended, but who’s counting?  The cycle of checkups since April 15, 2010 has been every four months.  The stress level in the days leading to the appointments has always been high.

Fear of the unknown

When you’ve had cancer, you worry.  Even though you can account for every inch of improvement in your health, there is a nagging feeling.   Am I still ok?  What if?  Your stomach is knotted until you hear the words of the Oncologist.  “You’re good!”  “See you in four months.”

Here’s what I know
  1. My weight gain has stabilized in the mid to high 190’s.
  2. Stamina is better again and still improving.
  3. No problem with appetite although I still have to be careful with acidic foods.  Sometimes a tomato is fine.  Sometimes it’s not.  Sometimes vinegar and hot spices are delicious.  Occasionally, no.  Doesn’t stop me from trying.  I guess that’s why we have Zantac.
  4. Cramping in the leg from the chemo caused blood clot is way better.  Not gone altogether but better.  The key is that when I do cramp up it goes away quicker.
  5. Saliva about the same.  Peppermint gum seems to turn on a tap.  There are times while eating dry food when I can swallow without the help of milk.  The improvement is slow but improved is the word.
  6. I get a cramp in a neck muscle from time to time.  The muscle was weakened by the radiation.  I massage my neck and face muscles a couple of times per day by using a skin moisturizer with SPF 30.  It’s more important than ever for me to wear a sun block and I am amazed at how dry your skin can get.  Women had it right a long time ago.  I also do neck stretches.  The Cancer Clinic nurse told me that the chewing of gum will help to strengthen face and neck muscles, so I now bulk-buy my favourite.
  7. Teeth seem to be holding up well.  Haven’t had any issues since our dentist rebuilt all the weakened and broken ones.  I am finding that the nightly fluoride treatments have an additional benefit.  The lack of thin saliva means little or none of the enzymes needed to fight tooth decay.  The fluoride is a must.  What also seems to happen is that it keeps my mouth moist throughout the night.  I simply don’t wake up groping for water to fix the dry mouth.  A side benefit is that for some reason I am keeping my mouth closed.  Terrie reports a dramatic reduction in my snoring.
Confidence builder

Every appointment has had good news.  My positive energy continues to grow.  This time, my Oncologist said, “Merry Christmas”.  “I’ll see you next in six months.”  My cycle of checkups has officially changed.

And more 

I once again have secured an anchor client for my company, Ted Farr Media.  I tell everyone that the good news is that I have had the better part of two years of stress free recovery time.  The bad news is that I haven’t had a steady income.  But now that I’m feeling great, it’s time to get busy.  Over the summer I picked up several radio projects in addition to the video production I do with a partner here in the Kelowna area and the work I do with Mega Music Canada.  One of those radio projects has me back at Vista owned 103.9 The Juice in Kelowna as General Manager. I started September 1st.

Life is good

Terrie is also doing well.  Our grandson is growing by the week.  I read an article recently on line that compared a two year old to owning a blender with no lid.  I forgot how exhausting a short person can be and how ignored the words “no” and “don’t touch” really are in a little world of exploring.   

Here he is wearing his Baltimore Ravens toque.  We are teaching him which teams to cheer for.  Go Ravens!

We are excited when he comes to visit and ready to nap when he goes home.